Sunday, March 21, 2010

Final Destination No. 2: Don't Ask, Don't Smell

The Final Destination 3D is the only one of the four Final Destination films to have two full on premonition sequences, one at the beginning (like the other three) and also one near the end (unlike the other three)। The fourth installment also redoes the opening title sequence, which cites death scenes form the previous three films, at the end of the film। FD 3D does not depart from the other there so much as it redoubles the uncanny repetitions already operative in the first film, Final Destination. In the first and most significant death sequence, death is liquified, revealing and then hiding itself to the audience through trick and reverse photography while leaving its victim looking like he has committed suicide? But what is the hang up? What is death's victim hung up on? Consider that the death is not a closed case. The victim's friend (who's telepathic reactions are crosscut in this death sequence) is framed as the possible murderer of what only appears to be a suicide. The first death follows from a scene before the premonition sequence, in which the victim tells the survivor visionary they should both go to the bathroom to take a dump before boarding the plane so that the girls they want to date won't smell the smelly left over in the bathroom on the airplane should they use it immediately after either guy has left it. Before they can move a move on either girl, they have to make a movement, together, in an overhead tracking shot showing them in stalls right next to each other. They fail to get the girls to move, to change seats; instead, the survivor moves his so that the girls can sit together, both in the premonition and the dream sequence. After the funeral, the two guys meet up, but the victim to go first after the plane explodes says his parents won't let him hang with his visionary buddy. Why does the friend have to be the first victim? Why do we go from dumping solids as prophylactic against death to liquid shower scene as personification and agent of death? To ask these question is already to see that Final Destination is already the second in a series yet to be, its phantom title being Final Destination No. 2. Even before being blocked by the sapphosocial girls, the possibility of heterosexual coupling in flight leads to homosocial panic attack, a need for reseating (note the later plot development involving a reinterpretation of the meaning of the seating arrangement) as we that see the death drive is a death drift, that sexuality has no telos exept for death, that sexuality cannot be differentiated and sequenced (anal to genital stage, homo to hetero, buddy to f-buddy) but only seralized in (re)in-stallments with only one explosion (the airplane) to be repeated. Final Destination squeezes out this secret just enough for a Romeo and Julian coupling become visible after the funeral and even more through the crosscutting as we see one partner reacting to the death of another partner, giving the film its alternate title, West Suicite Story. Choose either or both titles. Seat yourself. Or flush. In either case, we can see that director has prefigured the FD sequels to follows as segments rather than a series, as pieces of a tootsie roll to be cut off, excreted for theatrical consumption for audiences that already p/resists incorporating their own deaths, much less the death of others (who go unburied and unmourned). Even as it starts, the FD series has already crapped out.

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